Senate

Sharyl Attkisson to testify on Lynch confirmation, but why?

Featured image Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s nominee for Attorney General, will testify tomorrow before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It should be an interesting day. Coming up with lists of questions to ask Lynch has become a cottage industry. I offered my entry in November: I hope that during Senate confirmation hearings, Lynch will be asked specifically about each issue as to which the Holder DOJ has applied or considered applying disparate impact »

Russian Roulette, anyone?

Featured image Some Republican Senators are contemplating an attempt to change the rules for confirming Supreme Court Justices. Under their proposal, confirmation could occur with only a bare majority, as it now can for lower court judges and cabinet members. Lamar Alexander and Roy Blunt are behind the push for this change. I find no merit in it. Sure, the change would make it easier for a Republican president to have Supreme »

Senator Tom Cotton

Featured image This evening, I attended a reception in honor of Tom Cotton who will be sworn in as a Senator tomorrow by Vice President Joe Biden. Tom now has a beard. Does it make him look more Senatorial? I don’t know. Check out his swearing in on C-SPAN and see what you think. Tom was very gracious as he greeted those of us in the receiving line. Although not a glad-hander, »

Washington Post sings along with Mitch

Featured image The Washington Post’s front page today featured an article with the title “McConnell aims to rein in GOP to help it win White House.” The internet version of the same story is called “New Senate majority leader’s main goal for GOP: Don’t be scary.” The sentiment is not without merit. It’s not in the interest of Republicans or conservatives for a Republican Senate to scare voters. Few would dispute this »

Did Ted Cruz just pave the way for confirming a wave of Obama nominees?

Featured image The Senate has approved the so-called Cromnibus bill. It did so in a rare Saturday session. According to the Washington Post, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee forced the Saturday session: Prolonged debate on the spending bill, which passed on a 56-to-40 bipartisan vote, came after Cruz and Lee late Friday night derailed a carefully crafted plan between party leaders to allow senators to go home for the weekend and return »

Is Loretta Lynch appreciably better than Eric Holder?

Featured image Senate Republicans reportedly are divided over the nomination of Loretta Lynch to succeed Eric Holder as Attorney General. The source of the division is President Obama’s executive amnesty. Jeff Sessions has said, “I don’t see how a person can serve as attorney general if they’re going to participate in a massive nullification of American law.” Under this sensible view, Lynch should be rejected unless her testimony persuades Senators that she »

Landrieu lauds herself

Featured image Incumbent Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu lost by 12 points to Rep. Bill Cassidy in Louisiana’s runoff election yesterday. The Landrieu family business is Democratic politics, Louisiana style. Cassidy is a practicing physician. As she faced imminent defeat, Landrieu charged Cassidy with defrauding whose in the profession Landrieu sought to turn into a scandal as she faced imminent defeat. She charged Cassidy with defrauding LSU in connection with his part-time work »

Landrieu loses

Featured image Mary Landrieu hasn’t just lost her runoff race against Bill Cassidy, she has been “crushed” (as Politico puts it). With about 40 percent of precincts reporting, Cassidy leads by 17 points. That’s Mark Pryor territory and approaches the domain of Blanche Lincoln, who lost by 21 points in 2010. Come January, the Senate will consist of 54 Republicans. That’s 2004 territory. The Democrats now hold zero Senate seats in the »

Mary’s prayer: The odds

Featured image At FiveThirtyEight Harry Enten provides the odds that Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy will defeat incumbent Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu in the runoff election for her Senate seat today: 99.8 percent, based on “the FiveThirtyEight model.” I know this is science, but where does the 0.2 percent come from, and how can we verify it? Perhaps we will learn another day. Today we can savor FiveThirtyEight’s exploration of the possibility that »

Landrieu finally finds a unified theory of [President] Obama

Featured image Throughout her campaign for reelection Mary Landrieu has faced a major dilemma — what to say about President Obama. Embrace his policies and she loses moderates who understand how immoderate Obama is; distance herself and she alienates the black voters on whom she heavily relies. As Scott has written, Landrieu addressed the dilemma by speaking with two voices. She says one thing when speaking to the public at large and »

Humane society tries to rescue stranded Mary Landrieu

Featured image Noting that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, among many others, has abandoned Mary Landrieu, Sean Sullivan and Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post describe Landrieu’s lonely last days as a Senator this way: So with the odds stacked heavily against her, Ladndrieu soldiers on virtually alone — this year’s political equivalent of those holdout Japanese infantrymen who were discovered waging war on remote Pacific islands decades after World War II »

THE JUDICIAL FILIBUSTER AND THE FALLACY OF “UNILATERAL DISARMAMENT”

Featured image Politico reports what’s been pretty clear for weeks — Republicans are unlikely to reverse Harry Reid’s elimination of the filibuster of presidential nominees. My preference was to reinstate the filibuster for the reasons I presented here. However, I understand the arguments for keeping it, and consider the issue a close call. What bothers me is the mantra that reinstating the filibuster would amount to “unilateral disarmament” by Republicans. It’s an »

In Louisiana, It’s Bill Cassidy Against Barack Obama

Featured image As Scott has noted, Mary Landrieu is desperately trying to hang on to her Senate seat by distancing herself from President Obama, while at the same time catering more quietly to his few remaining admirers. But the reality is that as a Democrat, she can’t hide from Obama’s toxic legacy. We have praised, a couple of times, the terrific work being done by Conservative War Chest. They are currently running »

The two faces of Mary

Featured image Louisiana’s Obama-loving black citizens represent Mary Landrieu’s best hope for reelection to the Senate seat Landrieu holds. They are Mary’s prayer. But she can’t win only with their votes. She also needs the votes of a substantial percentage of Obama-disapproving white voters. Mary’s prayer must include a message intended for their ears. The two faces of Mary’s prayer are in tension. Indeed, they are unreconcilable. Politico’s James Hohmann catches the »

Is Mary Landrieu in Blanche Lincoln territory?

Featured image This weekend I searched for recent polling of the Louisiana Senate runoff race, which will be held this coming Saturday. I hadn’t seen anything since a November 20 Rasmussen poll that had Rep. Cassidy leading Sen. Landrieu by 15 points. Alas, I found nothing more recent. Perhaps the pollsters have concluded that this is no longer a competitive race. Confirmation that the race may well effectively be over came this »

Lindsey Graham, you are the weakest link

Featured image Lindsey Graham, in an appearance on Hugh Hewitt’s show, advocated a return to the requirement that all presidential nominations receive 60 votes in order to be confirmed. Graham told Hugh: If you keep it at 51, all they [Democrats] have to do is pick up three, four Republicans and I’m worried that you’re no stronger than your weakest link. Having to get to 60 is a much more collaborative process. »

Ted Cruz votes to hamper U.S. anti-terrorism intelligence gathering

Featured image The Senate has failed to pass the “USA Freedom Act,” which would have hobbled our government’s efforts to conduct electronic surveillance of terrorists. Good. As Mitch McConnell argued, with ISIS and other blood thirsty terrorist groups on the rise, this is “the worst possible time to be tying our hands behind our back.” Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden have described the “USA »